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  • Time-05:50 PM
  • Date-15/09/2013

via JV with Capitas Group International 

Announcement follows news that YOTEL will also expand to Singapore 

Dubai, Sept  2013: IFA Hotel Investments (IFA HI) has announced the signing of an exclusive joint venture with Capitas Group International (CGI) to develop YOTEL branded hotels across Saudi Arabia. This marks the second expansion announcement for the pioneering hotel brand in as many months.  

Joe Sita, CEO IFA Hotel Investments, the IFA Group company that oversees Yotel on behalf of majority owner, IFA Hotels & Resorts, believes the Kingdom is ready for YOTEL: “The flexibility to customize YOTEL makes it ideal for Saudi Arabia where business travellers and religious tourists generate the vast majority of room demand. YOTEL caters to these markets perfectly by offering an affordable, yet luxurious option.” 

Under the JV, CGI is IFA HI’s exclusive partner to develop YOTEL branded hotels in the Kingdom. IFA HI will invest seed capital in the projects and asset manage the hotels after development, while YOTEL will be the hotel operator. The YOTEL product will also be customized to local requirements in each market.

Commenting on the Agreement, Naveed Siddiqui, CEO of Capitas Group International, said, “This is an exciting opportunity for CGI to bring an innovative and unique, world-class hospitality brand to the Kingdom. In the first phase we will be identifying locations in Jeddah, Riyadh, and the Holy Cities for potential YOTEL projects. Conversations with land owners have already begun and are going well, buoyed by the combined strength of IFA and YOTEL as our partners.” 

Inspired by first-class airline travel, YO! Founder, Simon Woodroffe OBE and YOTEL CEO Gerard Greene conceived the innovative YOTEL cabins to provide uncompromising luxury within a smaller footprint than traditional five-star hotels. The cabins feature luxury bedding, rejuvenating monsoon rain showers, relaxing purple mood lighting and YOTEL’s ‘techno wall’ with flat screen TV, multi power points and iPod connectivity.

Situated in both airport and city-centre locations, YOTEL hotels currently operate within Heathrow and Gatwick airports, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and in New York’s Times Square. A deal has also been signed to bring YOTEL to Singapore’s famous Orchard Road.  

Joe Sita concludes: “We are very pleased to have formalized our relationship with Capitas Group International. CGI’s significant value-add comes from their close connection to the market and in-depth ability to combine technical real estate expertise with a deep understanding of the financial and business issues involved in Saudi-based real estate development.”


IFA Hotel Investments (IFA HI) is a wholly owned subsidiary of publically listed IFA Hotels & Resorts (IFA HR). Listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange, IFA Hotels & Resorts (IFA HR) has a market capitalization of approximately US$1billion. The company's main shareholder is Kuwait-based International Financial Advisors. Established in 2010, IFA HI’s role is to encompass and lead, on a worldwide scale, IFA Hotels & Resorts’ operational asset portfolio including its hotels, hotel condominiums, commercial, retail and food and beverage ventures across North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Indian Ocean. 

IFA Hotel Investments also oversees the IFA Collection, which manages the company’s private residence clubs, vacation clubs and lifestyle ownership products. IFA HI focuses mainly on assets in emerging markets; an area in which the company has an advantage through applying IFA HR’s proven formula of asset class diversification. This approach allows IFA HI to respond advantageously to market changes by introducing new products. Leading similar expansion efforts in developed markets is YOTEL, the world’s most radical hotel concept, in which IFA HR has a majority stake and which IFA HI oversees. 


YOTEL was created by YO! founder Simon Woodroffe and YOTEL CEO Gerard Greene. The idea was conceived by Simon after he was upgraded to first class on a flight. He decided to translate the language of luxury airline travel and Japanese capsule hotels into a small but luxurious cabin. YOTEL launched as a revolutionary hotel concept in the summer of 2007, with its first location inside London’s Gatwick South terminal. In December 2007, the brand opened its second airport location inside London’s Heathrow Airport Terminal 4, followed by its third location in the airside transit area at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam in September of 2008 supported by IFA Hotels & Resorts.

In addition to its airport locations, YOTEL opened its LEED Gold status and flagship 669 cabin city centre hotel in 2011 in New York City, located off of Times Square on 10th Avenue and West 42nd Street. YOTEL New York features 20,000sqft of dynamic and flexible entertainment space on FOUR, including Club Lounge, Studiyo, Dohyo restaurant, and the largest outdoor hotel Terrace in New York City. 

YOTELs, strategy for expansion led by Gerard Greene and an experienced team based at their HQ in London and in New York includes plans for more city and airport hotels in the US, Asia and Europe. 

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About CGI

CGI is a Jeddah-based specialist in real estate development and finance. The Company’s Development Management Service (DMS) manages the complete development lifecycle - from concept through design, capitalization, construction and maintenance - for public and private sector sponsors/investors and land owners. As an owner’s representative, DMS deploys a holistic approach to real estate development based on its technical expertise and in depth understanding of the business and finance of real estate projects. The Company’s Financial Platforms (FP) team collaborates with investors to build and launch finance companies that address the funding equation on both the supply and demand sides.